R&D

Higher education remote robotics demonstrates 5G potential

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A 5G-connected robot developed by the University of Glasgow and The Scotland 5G Centre has successfully conducted one of the first demonstrations of higher education remote robotics in the UK.

Some £1.6m of funding from The Scotland 5G Centre was used by students from the university to build their own 5G network ecosystem. A testbed mobile network enabled the students to remotely assemble and measure an electric circuit using equipment physically situated inside the James Watt South building on the University of Glasgow’s Gilmorehill campus.

According to The Scotland 5G Centre, the demonstration highlighted the huge potential of remote robotics for commercial applications in industries that are normally reliant on physical human intervention, such as construction, education and healthcare.

The robot arm helped students learn the basics of circuit design remotely

Paul Coffey, chief executive of The Scotland 5G Centre, said: “A robotic arm is always going to make people sit up and take notice. I am pleased to say that fine-tuning is now complete, and this pioneering 5G-based technology is ready to enable manufacturing and other industries to be able to carry out complex tasks from offsite locations.

“The economic and societal benefits are significant; enabling factories to be more competitive in a wider market and allowing people to live in rural or remote areas while still being able to access urban or industrial centres.”

The Scotland 5G Centre will now continue to roll out its S5GConnect Programme, which, over the next 12 months, will deliver a series of 5G hubs to support economic growth through the deployment and adoption of 5G services across Scotland

The programme is supported by a £4m investment from the Scottish government. The first hub, in Alloa, is due to open by May 2021.

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